The Story of People
- reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2008 1 Jun
- Hold Up Your Head
- The Love You Give
- Not So Long Ago
- The Story of People
- Waking Up
- Not Ashamed
In the time since we last heard from Vail, Colorado's The Ride with 2006's New Day, the pop/rockers opened for the likes of Edwin McCain, Michael W. Smith, and Third Day, plus appeared alongside Mac Powell, Kirk Franklin, and MercyMe for various compilation CDs. Add to that tons of grassroots marketing as well as a ballooning fan base, and you've got a band on the rise.
Amidst those extensive travels, the group met up and coming producer Shawn Lewis (Glory Revealed), who in turn sat behind the boards for the band's latest project
As a result, the act's already palatable rhythms are now more refined artistically, while members are clearly digging deeper in the lyrical department than the last installment. The album's opener "Shelter" struts with gritty but groovy guitars and finds the fairly wide-ranged frontman Joseph Schlegel swaying between smooth passion and more militant cries that call for refuge in Christ. "The Love You Give" peels back to a breezy pop motif that could fall right in line with Crowder and company, but skips electronica elements in favor of multiple acoustic and electric guitar layers.
The straight forward acoustics of the title cut seem to unveil a thematic summary of the project, calling Christians to expand beyond a juvenile faith and challenge themselves to walk in a daily lifestyle free of the Devil's snares. Chunky bass lines carry the Maroon 5-inspired "Not Ashamed," which also conveys a simple message through relatively left-of-center phrasing, calling upon the Lord for strength and courage when witnessing to the world.
Yet the album's finale "Numb" is probably the best example of the band's artful intentions within accessible packaging, singing about shaking off the chains of complacency over yearning melodies, firmly planted six-string strums, and even a DMB-flavored violin fade out. Though The Ride has yet to prove themselves on a national platform,